BOOKSHELF: Martin Ramirez, Framing His Life and Art

Victor M. Espinosa, Published by University of Texas Press Release date, November 2015 by Clairborne Smith Imagine the story of a migrant from Mexico who ends up in a psychiatric hospital in California, where he devotes his time to creating idiosyncratic art that makes him a sought-after and respected artist (but not until after his … Continue reading BOOKSHELF: Martin Ramirez, Framing His Life and Art


University of Texas Press, 2015 by Claiborne Smith Artist Dan Rizzie has lived longer in Sag Harbor than he ever did in Texas, but he still, at the age of 63, after countless exhibitions and having his work in many prominent places (including the Museum of Modern Art), can’t shake the rap that he’s a … Continue reading DAN RIZZIE

Mary Ellen Mark

Man and Beast: Photographs from Mexico and India Claiborne Smith It’s no slight to the reputation or artistry of Mary Ellen Mark to say that her photographs of animals, carnival workers and children make me think about other photographers’ images of animals, carnival workers and children. Mark has her own style, or styles: she can … Continue reading Mary Ellen Mark

A Better Vice

A Texas Petrochemical Engineer Is One of the World’s Most Admired Collectors of German Art by Claiborne Smith Eighty years after Adolf Hitler declared certain German works of art “degenerate,” the term “degenerate art” serves a social good that even Hitler would be forced to acknowledge is remarkably different than what he intended it to … Continue reading A Better Vice